TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the award of more than $13.6 million for innovative technologies and short-term solutions to aid in the prevention, cleanup and mitigation of harmful algal blooms. A list of innovative technologies projects selected for funding can be found here.
Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis created the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to address the issue of recurring algal blooms in the state of Florida. The task force recommended investment in a diverse portfolio of innovative technologies to detect, prevent, clean up and mitigate harmful algal blooms in a cost-effective, environmentally safe way.
“In addition to our record investment in water quality projects to reduce nutrient loading at its source, my administration has secured dedicated funding to deploy innovative technologies to address algal blooms,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These projects will help identify new ways to treat, predict and respond to blue-green algal blooms, protecting our environment and our economy.”
The Innovative Technology Grant Program in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) facilitates the allocation of this funding and has further engaged with the Blue-Green Algae Task Force to ensure the program is optimizing its evaluation and successes.
“We all look forward to a future when harmful algal bloom events are less frequent and have a diminishing impact on our communities,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “To achieve this goal we know we must continue our investments in long-term water quality projects along with continued research and development of science-based mitigation and control technologies. With the continued support of Governor DeSantis and our lawmakers, I am confident that we will rise to this important challenge.”
As a result of Governor DeSantis’ commitment, $50 million has been appropriated in the last four years specifically for innovative technologies to combat and clean up harmful algal blooms and for efforts to combat red tide. To further advance these efforts, Governor DeSantis’ Fiscal Year 2023-24 Framework for Freedom budget includes $50 million to combat harmful algal blooms and red tide.
Coupled with this investment, over the past four years Florida has dedicated $1.6 billion to water restoration projects and has taken critical steps to address excess nutrients entering our waterways. The Framework for Freedom budget proposes more than $470 million for targeted water quality improvements across the state.